Morphological characterisation of portal myofibroblasts and hepatic stellate cells in the normal dog liver
Ijzer, Jooske × Roskams, Tania Molenbeek, Ronald F Ultee, Ton Penning, Louis C Rothuizen, Jan van den Ingh, Ted Sgam #
Comparative hepatology vol:5 pages:7
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hepatic fibrosis is a common outcome of hepatic injury in both man and dog. Activated fibroblasts which develop myofibroblastic characteristics play an essential role in hepatic fibrogenesis, and are comprised of three subpopulations: 1) portal or septal myofibroblasts, 2) interface myofibroblasts and 3) the perisinusoidally located hepatic stellate cells (HSC). The present study was performed to investigate the immunohistochemical characteristics of canine portal myofibroblasts (MF) and HSC in the normal unaffected liver as a basis for further studies on fibrogenesis in canine liver disease. RESULTS: In the formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded normal canine liver vimentin showed staining of hepatic fibroblasts, probably including MF in portal areas and around hepatic veins; however, HSC were in general negative. Desmin proved to react with both portal MF and HSC. A unique feature of these HSC was the positive immunostaining for alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) and muscle-specific actin clone HHF35 (HHF35), also portal MF stained positive with these antibodies. Synaptophysin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were consistently negative in the normal canine liver. In a frozen chronic hepatitis case (with expected activated hepatic MF and HSC), HSC were negative to synaptophysin, GFAP and NCAM. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) immunogold labelling for alpha-SMA and HHF35 recognized the positive cells as HSC situated in the space of Disse. CONCLUSION: In the normal formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded canine liver hepatic portal MF and HSC can be identified by alpha-SMA, HHF35 and to a lesser extent desmin immunostaining. These antibodies can thus be used in further studies on hepatic fibrosis. Synaptophysin, GFAP and NCAM do not seem suitable for marking of canine HSC. The positivity of HSC for alpha-SMA and HHF35 in the normal canine liver may eventually reflect a more active regulation of hepatic sinusoidal flow by these HSC compared to other species.